FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2014
Contact: Joe Hall
Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee
Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee forms to support Governor Haslam health plan
More than 80 business, health, civic groups deliver advocacy across Tennessee
NASHVILLE – A statewide group of about 80 business, health care and civic groups have formed the Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee to deliver advocacy in support of the Insure Tennessee plan introduced Monday by Governor Bill Haslam.
Coalition members include the Tennessee Business Roundtable, chambers of commerce, health care providers, businesses and civic organizations – located in communities from Memphis to Tri‐Cities. Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee this morning launched a campaign website – www.coalitionforahealthytennessee.com – and its members began a statewide effort to support legislative passage of Insure Tennessee.
“The business community has been skeptical of any type of health care reform in the state, but we have listened to Governor Haslam and his proposal is clearly not just Medicaid expansion. This is a Tennessee solution to a Tennessee problem,” said coalition spokesman Charlie Howorth, Executive Director of the Tennessee Business Roundtable.
“This coalition applauds Governor Haslam for developing a unique, market‐based solution that departs from the traditional Washington way of expanding Medicaid,” Howorth said. “Tennessee is our great state, but it is one of the unhealthiest states in the nation, a fact which poses risk to the goals all of us have for economic opportunity and quality of life. Expanding access to coverage for the working poor must be part of the solution to improve health of our citizens. The bottom line is that this plan will improve the health of Tennesseans, which will directly benefit the health of our rural and urban community workforces and our economy.”
Without the Governor’s plan, Tennessee will pay an estimated $7.8 billion worth of taxes towards other states’ health care programs between 2013 and 2022, according to a 2014 report from the Urban Institute.
“Governor Haslam’s plan will ensure that the billions of dollars Tennesseans will pay in Medicaid taxes in the coming years will stay in our state to provide care for our fellow citizens and contribute to our own economy instead of going to places like California, New York and Connecticut as is happening right now.”